Jump Into The Word

Bible Engagement Blog

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Tips To Remember

Struggling with Scripture memorization? Through a connection on LinkedIn, Jim Winner, I recently learnt this Scripture memorization tip:

Assume the aim is to memorize John 3:16 from the NIV. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Remove all the letters except for the first letter of each word. Include capital letters, and capitalize any that refer to God. Keep periods, commas, quotation marks and other punctuation.

F G s l t w t H g H O a o S, t w b i H s n p b h e l. J 3:16

Once you can quote the passage well, using the crutch, it is usually memorized. Now give it a try with another text.

A few more Scripture memorization tips:

  • Choose a version/translation that works for you
  • Begin with comprehension
  • Understand the text in its context
  • Pray for mental discipline and persistence
  • Write the text on post-it notes and place them where you’ll see them
  • Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!
  • Ask someone to do it with you
  • Sing, rap or chant it
  • Apply what you’ve memorized to your daily life

Finally, remember why we remember. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” Psalm 119:11 (NIV). “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV).

What would you like to see added to this list? Do you have Scripture memorization tips that may be helpful?

© Scripture Union Canada 2013


Assimilate the Word

assimilate vb. to learn and understand thoroughly, to absorb, to incorporate, to be changed into another.

Starfleet Captain Jean-Luc Picard was assimilated by the Borg in late 2366. His assimilation allowed the Borg to acquire all of his knowledge and experience. Now I’m not a Star Trek fan like my wife, but I’m big on assimilation. Not what the Borg do. I’m into assimilating God’s Word.

Is God’s Word part of you? Are you consumed with longing for it? Is it embedded in your soul – undividable from who you are? We set our hearts on many things. Have you set your heart on being a man/woman of the Word?

To make God’s Word a part of who you are, you must read and reflect on it. There are no short cuts.  Reading and reflection require discipline – a regular routine of listening to the Scriptures, meditating on them and memorizing them. On a daily basis God’s Word must enter through your eyes or ears before it can be fixed in your mind.

Reading and reflection are the preliminary stages of assimilation. To go deeper you must be shaped and changed in the depths of your being. God’s Word must be absorbed into your DNA. Your mental knowledge of the Scriptures must be actualized. A metamorphosis has to take place. Information must transmute. What you know, you must become.

Becoming . . . God’s Word must lodge inside us and burst out through us! It should whisper in our spirit and trumpet through everything we say and do. It should be in our hearts, but also in our hands. In our minds, but also on our lips. In the privacy of our homes, but also in the public square. And, like the Borg Collective, it should continue multiplying through further assimilation!

© SU Canada 2013

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The Stakes are High

The stakes are high. Every year since 2008 nearly 6,000 American elementary and high school children have pitted themselves against each other in a spelling-bee-style competition known as the National Bible Bee. For several months students participate in online tests and exams in the hope of being selected as one of 300 children and youth to compete in the Nashville, Tennessee, November finals. The hugely popular Scripps National Spelling Bee awards the national spelling champion $35,000. Prize money at the National Bible Bee outstrips this award. Top place in the senior category of the National Bible Bee is $100,000 and total prize money at the event is $260,000.

Imagine being a ten year old contestant: You walk up to the microphone and look at the moderator who asks you to recite 1 Timothy 2:9-11. You have more than 2,000 memorized verses buzzing through your mind, but you can’t stall. You know if you pause for longer than ten seconds, you’ll be eliminated. One wrong word when you recite the text – eliminated. So you recite the text slowly and clearly, take a deep breath, and wait for the judges to nod. If you get the nod you’ll return to your seat with the other finalists and prepare yourself for the next round . . .

Many are asking why the organizers of the National Bible Bee are doing what they’re doing. Phil Vischer, a Bible Bee presenter and co-creator of the Veggie Tales cartoons says, “These kids are learning the Bible so they can live Christianity well.”

Some of my Christian peers can recite, from memory, several texts from the Bible. Many Christians I know can only recite a verse or two. Nine year old Olivia Davis, winner of the 2011 primary division says, “If young people all did Bible Bee, we could change the country forever!” Can memorizing the Word of God lead to cultural change from sea to sea? Maybe! The Bible teaches us that when our hearts and minds are full of good things, then our words and actions will be good (cf. Luke 6:45). So I’m with Olivia; dreaming about what could happen if people, both young and old, started memorizing Scripture.

[Source for information on the National Bible Bee: The Globe and Mail. Monday, November 21, 2011]

© Copyright Scripture Union Canada, 2011

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